What’s up, guys! Today I wanted to talk about one of the more essential pieces of information within Pitch Design, called Spin Direction.

Spin Direction is a metric that measures how the ball rotates. Depending on what type of pitch is thrown, a baseball may move left, right, drop, or stay straight. The direction the ball is spinning from tells us how the ball will move; thus, Spin Direction becomes important when learning to throw a particular pitch. The easiest way to visualize this is to imagine a clock!

**Measurement**

To determine a pitch’s Spin Direction, look at the rotation of the baseball and compare it with the hour and minute hands on a clock. This is just like telling time. The spin direction of a changeup could read out as “2:00”, signifying the ball spinning from that direction. Now, on to some more examples so we can show you what we mean.

**Examples**

**#1 Fastball** – Here, we have a right-handed pitcher who throws a fastball overhead. As you can see, the ball has backspin, and compared to the clock; it is spinning closest to the 12:30 marker. Thus, the spin direction of this pitch would be 12:30.

Now, remember, righties and lefties will act as mirror images of each other when they release the ball, so a righty’s 12:30 fastball would be comparable to a left-handed pitchers’ 11:30.

**#2 Curveball **– Here’s another example of a right-handed pitcher who throws a curveball. This curveball with topspin breaks downward, and when looking at the clock, it spins in the direction from 6:30, hence how we get the expression, a “twelve-six” curveball!

Once again, if you’re comparing opposite-handed pitchers, a 6:30 spin direction for a righty would be comparable to 5:30 for a lefty since righties and lefties act as mirror images of each other.

**Conclusion**

You can find Spin Direction as a metric on a pitching device such as Rapsodo, or if you’re viewing a Trackman Radar, it is referred to as “Tilt.” Understanding Spin Direction will help you learn and improve upon your own pitch arsenal, and you can even study the spin direction of your favorite pitchers in the Major Leagues to learn how their pitches move the way they do!

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